Child Psychiatry & Human Development

, Volume 51, Issue 1, pp 71–79 | Cite as

Emotion Dysregulation, ODD and Conduct Problems in a Sample of Five and Six-Year-Old Children

  • Gudlaug Marion MitchisonEmail author
  • Juliette Margo Liber
  • Dagmar Kr. Hannesdottir
  • Urdur Njardvik
Original Article


Previous studies examining the relationship between emotion dysregulation and externalizing behavior problems have, so far, focused on using general screening questionnaires capturing a wide range of externalizing behaviors and emotion dysregulation has mostly been assessed through direct observation using negative mood induction and behavioral tasks. The purpose of this study was to explore this relationship using a multi-informant rated clinical questionnaires. Parents and teachers of 609 5–6-year-old children (46% girls, 54% boys) completed the ERC, DBRS, and SDQ. ODD symptoms/conduct problems and lability/negativity were more severe among boys but girls had better emotion regulation. The results also showed a significant main effect for emotion dysregulation and ODD symptoms/conduct problems and that gender had no moderating effect on the relationship. These findings show a strong association between emotion dysregulation and concurrent ODD symptoms/conduct problems and suggest that emotional difficulties should be considered when exploring causes of behavior difficulties in daily life.


Emotion regulation ODD symptoms Conduct problems Children Gender differences 



Gudlaug Marion Mitchison received a doctoral grant from the University of Iceland Research Fund (Grant Number: HI17120065). Urdur Njardvik received a project grant from the University of Iceland Research Fund (Grant Number: HI17080029).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. IRB approval: VSNb2016030001/03.01.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of IcelandReykjavíkIceland
  2. 2.Department of Developmental PsychologyUtrecht UniversityUtrechtThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Center of Child Development and BehaviorReykjavíkIceland

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